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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The VANOS rattle when the engine is started from cold - the colder the weather, the louder the noise. Within 3s or so it stops and there are no signals of malfunctions.

I have read somewhere in an US forum that this could be caused by the drain valve at the bottom of oil filter housing, and a sign is that the housing is empty when you remove the filter.

Is that true? Has anybody had such issue and fixed it by replacing the valve/housing?
 

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Hi
bought my 318ti compact new in 2004 n46 engine mine also does this at random intervals and have also noticed the filter housing empty upon changing the oil has been like this for years.I have always changed the oil at about 8K miles always mobil 1 0-40 and changed the chain tensioner at about every 40K miles.Its now done 156K miles never had a timing chain or guides,uses no oil only engine work has been a vacuum pump and cam cover gasket both due to oil leaks.
So change the tensioner for the latest type use quality oil change it at about half the recomended interval and let it go on.
I know these engines are known for not being bmw,s finest hour but mines been brilliant If it failed big time tomorrow ive had my moneys worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Mine is a 2004 saloon with the N42B20A engine, so very similar to yours.

One of the Recommended Reading links actually shows what I thought: BMW E46 318i N42 cold start rattle / grumble.

I have to admit I'm not too concerned about that noise causing damage: I presume the initial low oil pressure in the units being the cause of the noise, but they are certainly lubricated and therefore wear is going to be only marginally faster. Like you, my car has over 100k miles and I have learned how important regular oil changes (with quality oils) is for these engines.

I guess my concern is mostly for the time when I might need to sell the car and a prospective buyer is going to be put off by that noise. But after all the sweat and money poured in sorting it out, I'm probably going to keep it until it's ready for the scrapyard ...
 
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